Friday, 9 November 2012

Lunar Planting and Germination Rates

My latest lot of seeds was bought on an on line auction. The price was great, the seeds were plenty and I could get a good 80% of the varieties I wanted from the same person. Win! I knew they were home collected seeds, so maybe they wouldn't be as stringently quality controlled as if I bought a commercial packet, but they were a third of the price and five times the quantity, so if there's a misfire, I'm not going to sob over it.

These seeds came with two additions:
1) A bible quote in each packet (alright, if that's your thing).

2) A caveat stating that if I planted on a full moon, I might only get 25% germination rate, but if I planted on a new moon, the rate would be around 90%.

The second one sounds a bit loony to me. (Yes I said loony on purpose: Luna/loony. Yes, I thought it was funny, yes you're supposed to laugh. Please laugh now at my weak etymological joke, OK? Cheers.) I've heard of planting by the moon before though, so I figured I'd at least look it up.

Without looking it up though, I'm not really convinced. If this were the case, surely seed production companies would have it written on their packets? They want you to believe they have the best quality products, so if you only get a 25% germination rate, maybe you'll try another brand if you don't know about this lunar stuff.

Another thing is, when I did look it up on line, most of what I saw said that, if anything, the opposite was true. Full moons apparently pull more water to the surface of the earth, where seeds and roots live, and so more growth happens. But it's purely a water thing, and I plan on watering my seeds well whatever time of the month I plant them.

So I'm going to do an incredibly basic experiment, just to check.

The next new moon is Wednesday the 14th, so I'm going to plant radishes. I'll plant them in a recycled egg tray that holds 30, and put 1 seed in each compartment, then count the germination rate, speed and overall growth rate.

I'm choosing radishes because they're just so darned quick and easy to grow, and we could probably manage to eat 30 radishes every two weeks once they're ready, without straining ourselves. Also, hopefully they'll be happy enough in the small amount of space an egg carton affords. If not, oh well.

I'll repeat it in a couple of weeks when there's a full moon, and then again during the next new moon just because there may be a temperature issue since we're moving into summer and I want to rule that out.

It's not a perfect experiment, since the weather won't be a constant, but it'll probably be enough to convince me if there's anything significant about the idea enough to make me change my current "plant any old time" practices.

In the mean time, if anybody out there plants by the moon, I'd love to hear your experiences! Let me know either on facebook, or in the comments section below.

Cheers! Knight N Daze.

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